An Invitation to The Secret Doctrine — H. P. Blavatsky

Copyright © 1988 by Theosophical University Press

Selections from The Secret Doctrine — Volume II

Title Page
Preliminary Notes
Stanzas of Dzyan — Anthropogenesis
"And now to conclude."




Author of "ISIS UNVEILED."

Sanskrit devanagari "Satyat nasti paro dharma"
"There is no Religion higher than Truth."


7, Duke Street, Adelphi, W.C.
1I7, Nassau Street, New York.
Adyar, Madras.

Modern science insists upon the doctrine of evolution; so do human reason and the "Secret Doctrine," and the idea is corroborated by the ancient legends and myths, and even by the Bible itself when it is read between the lines. We see a flower slowly developing from a bud, and the bud from its seed. But whence the latter, with all its predetermined programme of physical transformation, and its invisible, therefore spiritual forces which gradually develop its form, colour, and odour? The word evolution speaks for itself. The germ of the present human race must have preexisted in the parent of this race, as the seed, in which lies hidden the flower of next summer, was developed in the capsule of its parent flower; the parent may be but slightly different, but it still differs from its future progeny. The antediluvian ancestors of the present elephant and lizard were, perhaps, the mammoth and the plesiosaurus; why should not the progenitors of our human race have been the "giants" of the Vedas, the Voluspa, and the Book of Genesis? While it is positively absurd to believe the "transformation of species" to have taken place according to some of the more materialistic views of the evolutionists, it is but natural to think that each genus, beginning with the molluscs and ending with man, had modified its own primordial and distinctive forms. — "Isis Unveiled," Vol. I., p. 153.



"Facies totius Universi, quamvis infinitis modis variet,
Manet tamen semper eadem." — Spinoza.

The Stanzas, with the Commentaries thereon, in this Book, the second, are drawn from the same Archaic Records as the Stanzas on Cosmogony in Book I. As far as possible a verbatim translation is given; but some of the Stanzas were too obscure to be understood without explanation. Hence, as was done in Book I., while they are first given in full as they stand, when taken verse by verse with their Commentaries an attempt is made to make them clearer, by words added in brackets, in anticipation of the fuller explanation of the Commentary.

As regards the evolution of mankind, the Secret Doctrine postulates three new propositions, which stand in direct antagonism to modern science as well as to current religious dogmas: it teaches(a) the simultaneous evolution of seven human groups on seven different portions of our globe; (b) the birth of the astral, before the physical body: the former being a model for the latter; and (c) that man, in this Round, preceded every mammalian — the anthropoids included — in the animal kingdom. (1)

The Secret Doctrine is not alone in speaking of primeval MEN born simultaneously on the seven divisions of our Globe. In the Divine "Pymander" of Hermes we find the same Seven primeval men (2) evolving from Nature and "Heavenly Man," in the collective sense of the word, namely, from the Creative Spirits; and in the fragments (collected by George Smith) of Chaldean tablets on which is inscribed the Babylonian Legend of Creation, in the first column of the Cutha tablet, seven human beings with the faces of ravens (black, swarthy complexions), whom "the (Seven) great gods created," are mentioned. Or, as explained in lines 16 and 18 — "In the midst of the Earth they grew up and became great . . . . Seven kings, brothers of the same family." These are the Seven Kings of Edom to whom reference is made in the Kabala; the first race, which was imperfect, i.e., was born before the "balance" (sexes) existed, and which was therefore destroyed. (Zohar, Siphrah Dzeniouta, Idrah Suta, 2928, La Kabbale, p. 205.) "Seven Kings, brethren, appeared and begat children, 6,000 in number were their peoples (Hibbert Lectures, p. 372). The god Nergas (death) destroyed them." "How did he destroy them?" "By bringing into equilibrium (or balance) those who did not yet exist" (Siphrah Dzeniouta). They were "destroyed," as a race, by being merged in their own progeny (by exudation); that is to say, the sexless race reincarnated in the bisexual (potentially); the latter in the Androgynes; these again in the sexual, the later third Race; (for further explanation, vide infra). Were the tablets less mutilated, they would be found to contain word for word the same account as given in the archaic records and in Hermes, at least as regards the fundamental facts, if not as regards minute details; for Hermes is a good deal disfigured by mistranslations.

It is quite certain that the seeming supernaturalism of these teachings, although allegorical, is so diametrically opposed to the dead-letter statements of the Bible (3) as well as to the latest hypotheses of science, that it will evoke passionate denial. The Occultists, however, know that the traditions of Esoteric Philosophy must be the right ones, simply because they are the most logical, and reconcile every difficulty. Besides, we have the Egyptian — "Books of Thoth," and "Book of the Dead," and the Hindu Puranas with the seven Manus, as well as the Chaldeo-Assyrian accounts, whose tiles mention seven primitive men, or Adams, the real meaning of which name may be ascertained through the Kabala. Those who know anything of the Samothracian mysteries will also remember that the generic name of the Kabiri was the "Holy Fires," which created on seven localities of the island of Electria (or Samothrace) the "Kabir born of the Holy Lemnos" (the island sacred to Vulcan).

According to Pindar (See "Philosophumena," Miller's edition, p. 98), this Kabir, whose name was Adamas, was, in the traditions of Lemnos, the type of the primitive man born from the bosom of the Earth. He was the Archetype of the first males in the order of generation, and was one of the seven autochthonous ancestors or progenitors of mankind (ibid, p. 108). If, while coupling with this the fact that Samothrace was colonised by the Phoenicians, and before them by the mysterious Pelasgians who came from the East, one remembers also the identity of the mystery gods of the Phoenicians, Chaldeans, and Israelites, it will be easy to discover whence came also the confused account of the Noachian deluge. It has become undeniable of late that the Jews, who obtained their primitive ideas about creation from Moses, who had them from the Egyptians, compiled their Genesis and first Cosmogonic traditions — when these were rewritten by Ezra and others — from the Chaldeo-Akkadian account. It is, therefore, sufficient to examine the Babylonian and Assyrian cuneiform and other inscriptions to find also therein, scattered here and there, not only the original meaning of the name Adam, Admi, or Adami (4), but also the creation of seven Adams or roots of men, born of Mother Earth, physically, and of the divine fire of the progenitors, spiritually or astrally. The Assyriologists, ignorant of the esoteric teachings, could hardly be expected to pay any greater attention to the mysterious and ever-recurring number seven on the Babylonian cylinders, than they paid to it on finding the same in Genesis and the Bible. Yet the number of the ancestral spirits and their seven groups of human progeny are there, notwithstanding the dilapidated condition of the fragments, as plainly as they are to be found in "Pymander" and in the "Book of the Concealed Mystery" of the Kabala. In the latter Adam Kadmon is the Sephirothal tree, as also the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." And that "Tree," says verse 32, "hath around it seven columns," or palaces, of the seven creative Angels operating in the spheres of the seven planets on our Globe. As Adam Kadmon is a collective name, so also is the name of the man Adam. Says George Smith in his "Chaldean Account of Genesis":

"The word Adam used in these legends for the first human being is evidently not a proper name, but is only used as a term for mankind. Adam appears as a proper name in Genesis, but certainly in some passages is only used in the same sense as the Assyrian word" (p. 86).

Moreover, neither the Chaldean nor the Biblical deluge (the stories of Xisuthrus and Noah) is based on the universal or even on the Atlantean deluges, recorded in the Indian allegory of Vaivaswata Manu. They are the exoteric allegories based on the esoteric mysteries of Samothrace. If the older Chaldees knew the esoteric truth concealed in the Puranic legends, the other nations were aware only of the Samothracian mystery, and allegorised it. They adapted it to their astronomical and anthropological, or rather phallic, notions. Samothrace is known historically to have been famous in antiquity for a deluge, which submerged the country and reached the top of the highest mountains; an event which happened before the age of the Argonauts. It was overflowed very suddenly by the waters of the Euxine, regarded up to that time as a lake. (5) But the Israelites had, moreover, another legend upon which to base their allegory: the "deluge," that transformed the present Gobi Desert into a sea for the last time, some 10 or 12,000 years ago, and which drove many Noahs and their families on to the surrounding mountains. As the Babylonian accounts are now only restored from hundreds of thousands of broken fragments (the mound of Kouyunjik alone having yielded to Layard's excavations over twenty thousand fragments of inscriptions), the proofs here cited are comparatively scanty; yet such as they are, they corroborate almost every one of our teachings, certainly three, at least. These are: —

(1.) That the race which was the first to fall into generation was a dark Race (Zalmat Gaguadi), which they call the Adami or dark Race, and that Sarku, or the light Race, remained pure for a long while subsequently.

(2.) That the Babylonians recognised two principal Races at the time of the Fall, the Race of the Gods (the Ethereal doubles of the Pitris), having preceded these two. This is Sir H. Rawlinson's opinion. These "Races" are our second and third Root-races.

(3) That these seven Gods, each of whom created a man, or group of men, were "the gods imprisoned or incarnated." These gods were: the god Zi; the god Ziku (noble life, Director of purity); the god Mirku (noble crown) "Saviour from death of the gods" (later on) imprisoned, and the creator of "the dark Race which his hand has made;" the god Libzu "wise among the gods"; the god Nissi . . . . and the god Suhhab; and Hea or Sa, their synthesis, the god of wisdom and of the Deep, identified with Oannes-Dagon, at the time of the fall, and called (collectively) the Demiurge, or Creator. (See Chaldean Account Genesis, p. 82.)

There are two "Creations" so called, in the Babylonian fragments, and Genesis having adhered to this, one finds its first two chapters distinguished as the Elohite and the Jehovite creations. Their proper order, however, is not preserved in these or in any other exoteric accounts. Now these "Creations," according to the occult teachings, refer respectively to the formation of the primordial seven men by the progenitors (the Pitris, or Elohim): and to that of the human groups after the fall.

All this will be examined in the light of science and comparisons drawn from the scriptures of all the ancient nations, the Bible included, as we proceed. Meanwhile, before we turn to the Anthropogenesis of the prehistoric Races, it may be useful to agree upon the names to be given to the Continents on which the four great Races, which preceded our Adamic Race, were born, lived, and died. Their archaic and esoteric names were many, and varied with the language of the nationality which mentioned them in its annals and scriptures. That which in the Vendidad, for instance, is referred to as Airyanem Vaego (see Bund. 79, 12) wherein was born the original Zoroaster (6), is called in the Puranic literature "Sveta-Dwipa," "Mount Meru," the abode of Vishnu, etc., etc.; and in the Secret Doctrine is simply named the land of the "Gods" under their chiefs the "Spirits of this Planet."

Therefore, in view of the possible, and even very probable confusion, that may arise, it is considered more convenient to adopt, for each of the four Continents constantly referred to, a name more familiar to the cultured reader. It is proposed, then, to call the first continent, or rather the first terra firma on which the first Race was evolved by the divine progenitors: —

I. "The Imperishable Sacred Land."

The reasons for this name are explained as follows: This "Sacred Land" — of which more later on — is stated never to have shared the fate of the other continents; because it is the only one whose destiny it is to last from the beginning to the end of the Manvantara throughout each Round. It is the cradle of the first man and the dwelling of the last divine mortal, chosen as a Sishta for the future seed of humanity. Of this mysterious and sacred land very little can be said, except, perhaps, according to a poetical expression in one of the Commentaries, that the "pole-star has its watchful eye upon it, from the dawn to the close of the twilight of 'a day' of the great breath." (7)

II. The "Hyperborean" will be the name chosen for the Second Continent, the land which stretched out its promontories southward and westward from the North Pole to receive the Second Race, and comprised the whole of what is now known as Northern Asia. Such was the name given by the oldest Greeks to the far-off and mysterious region, whither their tradition made Apollo the "Hyperborean" travel every year. Astronomically, Apollo is of course the Sun, who, abandoning his Hellenic sanctuaries, loved to visit annually his far-away country, where the Sun was said never to set for one half of the year. Eggus gar nuktos te kai hmatos eisi keleuqoi, says a verse in the Odyssey (x. 86).

But historically, or better, perhaps, ethnologically and geologically, the meaning is different. The land of the Hyperboreans, the country that extended beyond Boreas, the frozen-hearted god of snows and hurricanes, who loved to slumber heavily on the chain of Mount Riphaeus, was neither an ideal country, as surmised by the mythologists, nor yet a land in the neighbourhood of Scythia and the Danube. (8) It was a real Continent, a bona-fide land which knew no winter in those early days, nor have its sorry remains more than one night and day during the year, even now. The nocturnal shadows never fall upon it, said the Greeks; for it is the land of the Gods, the favourite abode of Apollo, the god of light, and its inhabitants are his beloved priests and servants. This may be regarded as poetised fiction now; but it was poetised truth then.

III. The third Continent, we propose to call "Lemuria." The name is an invention, or an idea, of Mr. P. L. Sclater, who asserted, between 1850 and 1860, on zoological grounds the actual existence, in prehistoric times, of a Continent which he showed to have extended from Madagascar to Ceylon and Sumatra. It included some portions of what is now Africa; but otherwise this gigantic Continent, which stretched from the Indian ocean to Australia, has now wholly disappeared beneath the waters of the Pacific, leaving here and there only some of its highland tops which are now islands. Mr. A. R. Wallace, the naturalist, "extends the Australia of tertiary periods to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and perhaps to Fiji;" and from its Marsupial types he infers "a connection with the Northern Continent during the Secondary period," writes Mr. C. Gould in "Mythical Monsters," p. 47. The subject is treated at length elsewhere. (9)

IV. "Atlantis "is the Fourth Continent. It would be the first historical land, were the traditions of the ancients to receive more attention than they have hitherto. The famous island of Plato of that name was but a fragment of this great Continent. (See "Esoteric Buddhism.")

V. The Fifth Continent was America; but, as it is situated at the Antipodes, it is Europe and Asia Minor, almost coeval with it, which are generally referred to by the Indo-Aryan Occultists as the fifth. If their teaching followed the appearance of the Continents in their geological and geographical order, then this classification would have to be altered. But as the sequence of the Continents is made to follow the order of evolution of the Races, from the first to the fifth, our Aryan Root-race, Europe must be called the fifth great Continent. The Secret Doctrine takes no account of islands and peninsulas, nor does it follow the modern geographical distribution of land and sea. Since the day of its earliest teachings and the destruction of the great Atlantis, the face of the earth has changed more than once. There was a time when the delta of Egypt and Northern Africa belonged to Europe, before the formation of the Straits of Gibraltar, and a further upheaval of the continent, changed entirely the face of the map of Europe. The last serious change occurred some 12,000 years ago (10), and was followed by the submersion of Plato's little Atlantic island, which he calls Atlantis after its parent continent. Geography was part of the mysteries, in days of old. Says the Zohar (iii., fol. 10a): "These secrets (of land and sea) were divulged to the men of the secret science, but not to the geographers."

The claim that physical man was originally a colossal pre-tertiary giant, and that he existed 18,000,000 years ago, must of course appear preposterous to admirers of, and believers in, modern learning. The whole posse comitatis of biologists will turn away from the conception of this third race Titan of the Secondary age, a being fit to fight as successfully with the then gigantic monsters of the air, sea, and land, as his forefathers — the ethereal prototype of the Atlantean — had little need to fear that which could not hurt him. The modern anthropologist is quite welcome to laugh at our Titans, as he laughs at the Biblical Adam, and as the theologian laughs at his pithecoid ancestor. The Occultists and their severe critics may feel that they have pretty well mutually squared their accounts by this time. Occult sciences claim less and give more, at all events, than either Darwinian Anthropology or Biblical Theology.

Nor ought the Esoteric Chronology to frighten any one; for, with regard to figures, the greatest authorities of the day are as fickle and as uncertain as the Mediterranean wave. As regards the duration of the geological periods alone, the learned men of the Royal Society are all hopelessly at sea, and jump from one million to five hundred millions of years with the utmost ease, as will be seen more than once during this comparison.

Take one instance for our present purpose — the calculations of Mr. Croll. Whether, according to this authority, 2,500,000 years represent the time since the beginning of the tertiary age, or the Eocene period, as an American geologist makes him say (11); or whether again Mr. Croll allows fifteen millions since the beginning of the Eocene period," as quoted by an English geologist (12), both sets of figures cover the claims made by the Secret Doctrine. (13) For assigning as the latter does from four to five million years between the incipient and the final evolution of the Fourth Root-Race, on the Lemuro-Atlantean Continents; one million years for the Fifth, or Aryan Race, to the present date; and about 850,000 since the submersion of the last large peninsula of the great Atlantis — all this may have easily taken place within the 15,000,000 years conceded by Mr. Croll to the Tertiary Age. But, chronologically speaking, the duration of the period is of secondary importance, as we have, after all, certain American scientists to fall back upon. These gentlemen, unmoved by the fact that their assertions are called not only dubious but absurd, yet maintain that man existed so far back as in the Secondary Age. They have found human footprints on rocks of that formation; and furthermore, M. de Quatrefages finds no valid scientific reason why man should not have existed during the Secondary Age.

The "Ages" and periods in geology are, in sober truth, purely conventional terms, as they are still hardly delineated, and, moreover, no two geologists or naturalists agree as to the figures. Thus, there is a wide margin for choice offered to the Occultist by the learned fraternity. Shall we take for one of our supports Mr. T. Mellard Reade? This gentleman, in a paper on "Limestone as an Index of Geological Time," read by him in 1878 before the Royal Society, claims that the minimum time required for the formation of the sedimentary strata and the elimination of the calcareous matter is in round numbers 600 million years (See "Proceedings of Royal Society," London, Vol. XXVIII., p. 281); or shall we ask support for our chronology from Mr. Darwin's works, wherein he demands for the organic transformations according to his theory from 300 to 500 million years? Sir C. Lyell and Prof. Houghton were satisfied with placing the beginning of the Cambrian Age at 200 and 240 millions of years back respectively. Geologists and zoologists claim the maximum time, though Mr. Huxley, at one time, placed the beginning of the incrustation of the earth 1,000 million years ago, and would not surrender a millennium of it.

But the main point for us lies not in the agreement or disagreement of the Naturalists as to the duration of geological periods, but rather in their perfect accord on one point, for a wonder, and this a very important one. They all agree that during "The Miocene Age" — whether one or ten million years ago — Greenland and even Spitzbergen, the remnants of our Second or Hyperborean Continent, "had almost a tropical climate." Now the pre-Homeric Greeks had preserved a vivid tradition of this "Land of the Eternal Sun," whither their Apollo journeyed yearly. "During the Miocene Age, Greenland (in N. Lat. 70 degrees) developed an abundance of trees, such as the Yew, the Redwood, the Sequoia, allied to the Californian species, Beeches, Planes, Willows, Oaks, Poplars and Walnuts, as well as a Magnolia and a Zamia," says Science; in short Greenland had Southern plants unknown to Northern regions.

And now this natural question rises. If the Greeks knew, in the days of Homer, of a Hyperborean land, i.e., a blessed land beyond the reach of Boreas, the god of winter and of the hurricane, an ideal region which the later Greeks and their classics have vainly tried to locate by searching for it beyond Scythia, a country where nights were short and days long, and beyond that land a country where the sun never set and the palm grew freely — if they knew of all this, who then told them of it? In their day, and for ages previously, Greenland must certainly have been already covered with perpetual snows, with never-thawing ice, just as it is now. Everything tends to show that the land of the short nights and the long days was Norway or Scandinavia, beyond which was the blessed land of eternal light and summer; and to know of this, their tradition must have descended to the Greeks from some people more ancient than themselves, who were acquainted with those climatic details of which the Greeks themselves could know nothing. Even in our day, science suspects beyond the Polar seas, at the very circle of the Arctic Pole, the existence of a sea which never freezes and a continent which is ever green. The archaic teachings, and likewise the Puranas — for one who understands the allegories of the latter — contain the same statements. Suffice, then, to us the strong probability that a people, now unknown to history, lived during the Miocene period of modern science, at a time when Greenland was an almost tropical land.


Note. The reader is requested to bear in mind that the first and the following sections are not strictly consecutive in order of time. In the first Section the Stanzas which form the skeleton of the exposition are given, and certain important points commented upon and explained. In the subsequent sections various additional details are gathered, and a fuller explanation of the subject is attempted.




[All ellipses appear in the original text. — Ed.]

In primeval times, a maiden,
Beauteous Daughter of the Ether,
Passed for ages her existence
In the great expanse of Heaven,
. . . . . . . . . . .
Seven hundred years she wandered,
Seven hundred years she laboured,
Ere her first-born was delivered.
. . . . . . . . . . .
Ere a beauteous duck descending,
Hastens toward the water-mother.
. . . . . . . . . . .
Lightly on the knee she settles,
Finds a nesting-place befitting,
Where to lay her eggs in safety,
Lays her eggs within, at pleasure,
Six, the golden eggs she lays them,
Then a Seventh, an egg of iron . . . . ."
                        (Kalevala, Rune I.)


(Verbatim Extracts. (14))

Stanza I.

1. The Lha which turns the fourth is subservient to the Lha of the Seven, they who revolve driving their chariots around their Lord, the One Eye. His breath gave life to the Seven; it gave life to the first.

2. Said the Earth: — "Lord of the Shining Face; my house is empty . . . . Send thy sons to people this wheel. Thou hast sent thy seven sons to the Lord of Wisdom. Seven times doth he see thee nearer to himself, seven times more doth he feel thee. Thou hast forbidden thy servants, the small rings, to catch thy light and heat, thy great bounty to intercept on its passage. Send now to thy servant the same."p>

3. Said the "Lord of the Shining Face": — "I shall send thee a fire when thy work is commenced. Raise thy voice to other Lokas; apply to thy father, the Lord of the Lotus, for his sons . . . . Thy people shall be under the rule of the Fathers. Thy men shall be mortals. The men of the Lord of Wisdom, not the Lunar Sons, are immortal. Cease thy complaints. Thy seven skins are yet on thee . . . . Thou art not ready. Thy men are not ready."

4. After great throes she cast off her old three and put on her new seven skins, and stood in her first one.

Stanza II.

5. The wheel whirled for thirty crores more. It constructed rupas: soft stones that hardened; hard plants that softened. Visible from invisible, insects and small lives. She shook them off her back whenever they overran the mother, . . . After thirty crores she turned round. She lay on her back; on her side . . . She would call no sons of Heaven, she would ask no sons of Wisdom. She created from her own bosom. She evolved water-men, terrible and bad.

6. The water-men terrible and bad she herself created from the remains of others, from the dross and slime of her first, second, and third, she formed them. The Dhyani came and looked — The Dhyani from the bright Father-mother, from the white regions they came, from the abodes of the immortal mortals.

7. Displeased they were. Our flesh is not there. No fit rupas for our brothers of the fifth. No dwellings for the lives. Pure waters, not turbid, they must drink. Let us dry them.

8. The flames came. The fires with the sparks; the night fires and the day fires. They dried out the turbid dark waters. With their heat they quenched them. The Lhas of the High, the Lhamayin of below, came. They slew the forms which were two- and four-faced. They fought the goatmen, and the dog-headed men, and the men with fishes' bodies.

9. Mother-water, the great sea, wept. She arose, she disappeared in the moon which had lifted her, which had given her birth.

10. When they were destroyed, Mother-earth remained bare. She asked to be dried.

Stanza III.

11. The Lord of the Lords came. From her body he separated the waters, and that was Heaven above, the first Heaven.

12. The great Chohans called the Lords of the Moon, of the airy bodies. "Bring forth men, men of your nature. Give them their forms within. She will build coverings without. Males-females will they be. Lords of the Flame also . . . . "

13. They went each on his allotted land: seven of them each on his lot. The Lords of the Flame remain behind. They would not go, they would not create.

Stanza IV.

14. The Seven Hosts, the "Will-born Lords," propelled by the Spirit of Life-giving, separate men from themselves, each on his own zone.

15. Seven times seven Shadows of future men were born, each of his own colour and kind. Each inferior to his father. The fathers, the boneless, could give no life to beings with bones. Their progeny were Bhuta, with neither form nor mind. Therefore they are called the Chhaya.

16. How are the Manushya born? The Manus with minds, how are they made? The fathers called to their help their own fire; which is the fire that burns in Earth. The Spirit of the Earth called to his help the Solar Fire. These three produced in their joint efforts a good Rupa. It could stand, walk, run, recline, or fly. Yet it was still but a Chhaya, a shadow with no sense . . . .

17. The breath needed a form; The Fathers gave it. The breath needed a gross body; the Earth moulded it. The breath needed the Spirit of Life; the Solar Lhas breathed it into its form. The breath needed a Mirror of its Body; "We gave it our own," said the Dhyanis. The breath needed a Vehicle of Desires; "It has it," said the Drainer of Waters. But Breath needs a mind to embrace the Universe; "We cannot give that," said the Fathers. "I never had it," said the Spirit of the Earth. "The form would be consumed were I to give it mine." said the Great Fire . . . . Man remained an empty senseless Bhuta . . . . Thus have the boneless given life to those who became men with bones in the third.

Stanza V.

18. The first were the sons of Yoga. Their sons the children of the Yellow Father and the White Mother.

19. The Second Race was the product by budding and expansion, the A-Sexual from the Sexless (15) ) — thus was, O Lanoo, the Second Race produced.

20. Their fathers were the self-born. The self-born, the Chhaya from the brilliant bodies of the Lords, the Fathers, the Sons of Twilight.

21. When the Race became old, the old waters mixed with the fresher waters. When its drops became turbid, they vanished and disappeared in the new stream, in the hot stream of life. The outer of the first became the inner of the second. The old Wing became the new Shadow, and the Shadow of the Wing.

Stanza VI.

22. Then the second evolved the Egg-born, the third. The sweat grew, its drops grew, and the drops became hard and round. The Sun warmed it; the Moon cooled and shaped it; the wind fed it until its ripeness. The white swan from the starry vault overshadowed the big drop. The egg of the future race, the Man-swan of the later third. First male-female, then man and woman.

23. The self-born were the Chhayas: the Shadows from the bodies of the Sons of Twilight.

Stanza VII.

24. The Sons of Wisdom, the Sons of Night, ready for rebirth, came down, they saw the vile forms of the First Third, "We can choose," said the Lords, "we have wisdom." Some entered the Chhaya. Some projected the Spark. Some deferred till the Fourth. From their own Rupa they filled the Kama. Those who entered became Arhats. Those who received but a spark, remained destitute of knowledge; the spark burned low. The third remained mind-less. Their Jivas were not ready. These were set apart among the Seven. They became narrow-headed. The Third were ready. "In these shall we dwell," said the Lords of the Flame.

25. How did the Manasa, the Sons of Wisdom, act? They rejected the Self-born. They are not ready. They spurned the Sweat-born. They are not quite ready. They would not enter the first Egg-born.

26. When the Sweat-born produced the Egg-born, the twofold and the mighty, the powerful with bones, the Lords of Wisdom said: "Now shall we create."p>

27. The Third Race became the Vahan of the Lords of Wisdom. It created "Sons of Will and Yoga," by Kriyasakti it created them, the Holy Fathers, Ancestors of the Arhats. . . .

Stanza VIII.

28. From the drops of sweat; from the residue of the substance; matter from dead bodies of men and animals of the wheel before; and from cast-off dust, the first animals were produced.

29. Animals with bones, dragons of the deep, and flying Sarpas were added to the creeping things. They that creep on the ground got wings. They of the long necks in the water became the progenitors of the fowls of the air.

30. During the third Race the boneless animals grew and changed: they became animals with bones, their Chhayas became solid.

31. The animals separated the first. They began to breed. The two-fold man separated also. He said: "Let us as they; let us unite and make creatures." They did.

32. And those which had no spark took huge she-animals unto them. They begat upon them dumb Races. Dumb they were themselves. But their tongues untied. The tongues of their progeny remained still. Monsters they bred. A race of crooked red-hair-covered monsters going on all fours. A dumb race to keep the shame untold.

Stanza IX.

33. Seeing which, the Lhas who had not built men, wept, saying: —

34. "The Amanasa have defiled our future abodes. This is Karma. Let us dwell in the others. Let us teach them better, lest worse should happen. They did . . . .

35. Then all men became endowed with Manas. They saw the sin of the mindless.

36. The Fourth Race developed speech.

37. The One became Two; also all the living and creeping things that were still one, giant fish-birds and serpents with shell-heads.

Stanza X.

38. Thus two by two on the seven zones, the Third Race gave birth to the Fourth-Race men; the gods became no-gods the sura became a-sura.

39. The first, on every zone, was moon-coloured; the second yellow like gold; the third red; the fourth brown, which became black with sin. The first seven human shoots were all of one complexion. The next seven began mixing.

40. Then the Fourth became tall with pride. We are the kings, it was said; we are the gods.

41. They took wives fair to look upon. Wives from the mindless, the narrow-headed. They bred monsters. Wicked demons, male and female, also Khado (dakini), with little minds.

42. They built temples for the human body. Male and female they worshipped. Then the Third Eye acted no longer.

Stanza XI.

43. They built huge cities. Of rare earths and metals they built, and out of the fires vomited, out of the white stone of the mountains and of the black stone, they cut their own images in their size and likeness, and worshipped them.

44. They built great images nine yatis high, the size of their bodies. Inner fires had destroyed the land of their fathers. The water threatened the fourth.

45. The first great waters came. They swallowed the seven great islands.

46. All Holy saved, the Unholy destroyed. With them most of the huge animals, produced from the sweat of the earth.

Stanza XII.

47. Few men remained: some yellow, some brown and black, and some red remained. The Moon-coloured were gone forever.

48. The fifth produced from the Holy stock remained; it was ruled over by the first divine Kings.

49. . . . . Who re-descended, who made peace with the fifth, who taught and instructed it. . . . . .

Link to Illustration: Portion of Secret Doctrine manuscript page II: 573. (TS Archives, Pasadena)


Space forbids us to say anything more, and this part of the "Secret Doctrine" has to be closed. The forty-nine Stanzas and the few fragments from the Commentaries just given are all that can be published in these volumes. These, with some still older records — to which none but the highest Initiates have access — and a whole library of comments, glossaries, and explanations, form the synopsis of Man's genesis.

 It is from the Commentaries that we have hitherto quoted and tried to explain the hidden meaning of some of the allegories, thus showing the true views of esoteric antiquity upon geology, anthropology, and even ethnology. We will endeavour in the Part which follows, to establish a still closer metaphysical connection between the earliest races and their Creators, the divine men from other worlds; accompanying the statements proffered with the most important demonstrations of the same in esoteric Astronomy and Symbolism.

In Volume III. of this work (the said volume and the IVth being almost ready) a brief history of all the great adepts known to the ancients and the moderns in their chronological order will be given, as also a bird's eye view of the Mysteries, their birth, growth, decay, and final death — in Europe. This could not find room in the present work. Volume IV. will be almost entirely devoted to Occult teachings.

The duration of the periods that separate, in space and time, the Fourth from the Fifth Race — in the historical (16) ) or even the legendary beginnings of the latter — is too tremendous for us to offer, even to a Theosophist, any more detailed accounts of them. During the course of the post-diluvian ages — marked at certain periodical epochs by the most terrible cataclysms — too many races and nations were born, and have disappeared almost without leaving a trace, for any one to offer any description of the slightest value concerning them. Whether the Masters of Wisdom have a consecutive and full history of our race from its incipient stage down to the present times; whether they possess the uninterrupted record of man since he became the complete physical being, and became thereby the king of the animals and master on this earth — is not for the writer to say. Most probably they have, and such is our own personal conviction. But if so, this knowledge is only for the highest Initiates, who do not take their students into their confidence. The writer can, therefore, give but what she has herself been taught, and no more.

But even this will appear to the profane reader rather as a weird, fantastic dream, than as a possible reality.

This is only natural and as it should be, since for years such was the impression made upon the humble writer of these pages herself. Born and bred in European, matter-of-fact and presumably civilized countries, she assimilated the foregoing with the utmost difficulty. But there are proofs of a certain character which become irrefutable and are undeniable in the long run, to every earnest and unprejudiced mind. For a series of years such were offered to her, and now she has the full certitude that our present globe and its human races must have been born, grown and developed in this, and in no other way.

But this is the personal view of the writer; and her orthodoxy cannot be expected to have any more weight than any other "doxy," in the eyes of those to whom every fresh theory is heterodox until otherwise proved. Therefore are we Occultists fully prepared for such questions as these: "How does one know that the writer has not invented the whole scheme? And supposing she has not, how can one tell that the whole of the foregoing, as given in the Stanzas, is not the product of the imagination of the ancients? How could they have preserved the records of such an immense, such an incredible antiquity?"

The answer that the history of this world since its formation and to its end "is written in the stars," i.e., is recorded in the Zodiac and the Universal Symbolism whose keys are in the keeping of the Initiates, will hardly satisfy the doubters. The antiquity of the Zodiac in Egypt is much doubted, and it is denied point-blank with regard to India. "Your conclusions are often excellent, but your premises are always doubtful," the writer was once told by a profane friend. To this, the answer came that it was one point, at least, gained on the scientific syllogisms. For, with the exception of a few problems from the domain of purely physical science, both the premises and conclusions of the men of Science are as hypothetical as they are almost invariably erroneous. And if they do not so appear to the profane, the reason is simply this: the said profane is very little aware, taking as he does his scientific data on faith, that both premises and conclusions are generally the product of the same brains, which, however learned, are not infallible; a truism demonstrated daily by the shifting and re-shifting of scientific theories and speculations.

However it may be, the records of the temples, Zodiacal and traditional, as well as the ideographic records of the East, as read by the adepts of the Sacred Science and Vidya, are not a whit more doubtful than the so-called ancient history of the European nations, now edited, corrected, and amplified by half a century of archaeological discoveries, and the very problematical readings of the Assyrian tiles, cuneiform fragments, and Egyptian hieroglyphics. So are our data based upon the same readings, in addition to an almost inexhaustible number of Secret works of which Europe knows nothing — plus the perfect knowledge by the Initiates of the symbolism of every word so recorded. Some of these records belong to an immense antiquity. Every archaeologist and palaeontologist is acquainted with the ideographic productions of certain semi-savage tribes, who from time immemorial have aimed at rendering their thoughts symbolically. This is the earliest mode of recording events and ideas. And how old this knowledge is in the human race may be inferred from some signs, evidently ideographic, found on hatchets of the Palaeolithic period. The red Indian tribes of America, only a few years ago comparatively speaking, petitioned the President of the United States to grant them possession of four small lakes, the petition being written on the tiny surface of a piece of a fabric, which is covered with barely a dozen representations of animals and birds. (See Lubbock.) The American savages have a number of such different kinds of writing, but not one of our Scientists is yet familiar, or even knows of the early hieroglyphic cypher, still preserved in some Fraternities, and named in Occultism the Senzar. Moreover, all those who have decided to regard such modes of writing — e.g., the ideographs of the Red Indians, and even the Chinese characters — as "attempts of the early races of mankind to express their untutored thoughts," will decidedly object to our statement, that writing was invented by the Atlanteans, and not at all by the Phoenicians. Indeed, such a claim as that writing was known to mankind many hundreds of millenniums ago, in the face of the philologists who have decreed that writing was unknown in the days of, and to Panini, in India, as also to the Greeks in the time of Homer, will be met by general disapprobation, if not with silent scorn. All denial and ridicule notwithstanding, the Occultists will maintain the claim, and simply for this reason: from Bacon down to our modern Royal Society, we have a too long period, full of the most ludicrous mistakes made by Science, to warrant our believing in modern scientific assumptions rather than in the denials of our Teachers. Writing, our scientists say, was unknown to Panini; and this sage nevertheless composed a grammar which contains 3,996 rules, and is the most perfect of all the grammars that were ever made! Panini is made out to have lived barely a few centuries B.C., by the most liberal; and the rocks in Iran and Central Asia (whence the philologists and historians show us the ancestors of the same Panini, the Brahmins, coming into India) are covered with writing, two and three thousand years old (12,000, according to some fearless palaeontologists).

Writing was an ars incognita in the days of Hesiod and Homer, agreeably to Grote, and unknown to the Greeks so late as 770 B.C.; and the Phoenicians who had invented it, and knew writing as far back as 1500 B.C., at the earliest (17), were living among the Greeks, and elbowing them, all the time! All these scientific and contradictory conclusions disappeared, however, into thin air, when Schliemann discovered (a) the site of ancient Troy, whose actual existence had been so long regarded as a fable; and (b), excavated on that site earthenware vessels with inscriptions in characters unknown to the paleontologists and the all-denying Sanskritists. Who will now deny Troy, or these Archaic inscriptions? As Professor Virchow witnesses: — "I was myself an eye-witness of two such discoveries, and helped to gather the articles together. The slanderers have long since been silenced, who were not ashamed to charge the discoverer with an imposture." (18) Nor were truthful women spared any more than truthful men. Du Chaillu, Gordon-Cumming, Madame Merian (19), Bruce, and a host of others were charged with lying.

Madame Merian — says the author of "Mythical Monsters," who gives this information in the Introduction — was accused of deliberate falsehood in reference to her description of a bird-eating spider nearly two hundred years ago. But now-a-days reliable observers have confirmed it in regard to South America, India, and elsewhere. Audubon was accused by botanists of having invented the yellow water-lily, which he figured in his Birds of the South under the name of Nymphaea lutea, and after having lain under the imputation for years, was confirmed at last by the discovery of the long-lost flower in Florida in 1876 (Pop. Sci. Monthly, No. 60, April 1877). And, as Audubon was called a liar for this, and for his Holiaetus Washingtonii (20), so Victor Hugo was ridiculed for . . . . his marvellous word-painting of the devil-fish, and his description of a man becoming its helpless victim." The thing was derided as an impossibility; yet within a few years were discovered, on the shores of Newfoundland, cuttle fish with arms extending to thirty feet in length, and capable of dragging a good-sized boat beneath the surface; and their action has been reproduced for centuries past . . . . by Japanese artists." ("Mythical Monsters," p. 11 Introd.).

And if Troy was denied, and regarded as a myth; the existence of Herculaneum and Pompeii declared a fiction; the travels of Marco Polo laughed at and called as absurd a fable as one of Baron Munchausen's tales, why should the writer of "Isis Unveiled" and of the "Secret Doctrine" be any better treated? Mr. Charles Gould, the author of the above-cited volume quotes in his excellent work a few lines from Macmillan (1860), which are as true as life, and too much to the point not to be reproduced: "When a naturalist, either by visiting such spots of earth as are still out of the way, or by his good fortune, finds a very queer plant or animal, he is forthwith accused of inventing his game. . . . . . As soon as the creature is found to sin against preconception, the great (mis ?) guiding Spirit, a priori by name, who furnishes philosophers with their omniscience pro re nata, whispers that no such thing can be, and forthwith there is a charge of hoax. The heavens themselves have been charged with hoaxes. When Leverrier and Adams predicted a planet by calculation, it was gravely asserted in some quarters that the planet which had been calculated was not the planet but another which had clandestinely and improperly got into the neighbourhood of the true body. The disposition to suspect hoax is stronger than the disposition to hoax. Who was it that first announced that the classical writings of Greece and Rome were one huge hoax perpetrated by the monks in what the announcer would be as little or less inclined than Dr. Maitland to call the dark ages?" (p. 13).

Thus let it be. No disbeliever who takes the "Secret Doctrine" for a "hoax" is forced or even asked to credit our statements. These have already been proclaimed to be such by certain very clever American journalists before even the work went to press. (21)

Nor, is it after all, necessary that any one should believe in the Occult Sciences and the old teachings, before one knows anything or even believes in his own soul. No great truth was ever accepted a priori, and generally a century or two passed before it began to glimmer in the human consciousness as a possible verity, except in such cases as the positive discovery of the thing claimed as a fact. The truths of to-day are the falsehoods and errors of yesterday, and vice versa. I It is only in the XXth century that portions, if not the whole, of the present work will be vindicated.

It is no fact going against our statements, therefore, even if Sir John Evans does affirm that writing was unknown in the stone age. For it may have been unknown during that period in the Fifth Aryan race, and have been perfectly known to the Atlanteans of the Fourth, in the palmy days of their highest civilization. The cycles of the rise and fall of the nations and races are there to account for it.

If told that there have been cases before now of forged pseudographs being palmed off on the credulous, and that our work may be classed with Jacolliot's "Bible in India" (in which, by the way, there are more truths among its errors than are found in the works of orthodox and recognized Orientalists) — the charge and comparison will dismay us very little. We bide our time. Even the famous "Ezour-Veda" of the last century, considered by Voltaire "the most precious gift from the East to the West," and by Max Muller "about the silliest book that can be read," is not altogether without facts and truths in it. The cases when the a priori negations of specialists became justified by subsequent corroborations form but an insignificant percentage of those that were fully vindicated by subsequent discoveries, and confirmed to the great dismay of the learned objectors. "Ezour Veda," was a very small bone of contention compared with the triumph of Sir William Jones, Anquetil de Perron, and others in the matter of Sanskrit and its literature. Such facts are recorded by Professor Max Muller himself, who, speaking of the discomfiture of Dugald Stewart and Co. in connection with this, states that "if the facts about Sanskrit were true, Dugald Stewart was too wise not to see that the conclusions drawn from them were inevitable. He therefore denied the reality of such a language as Sanskrit altogether, and wrote his famous essay to prove that Sanskrit had been put together after the model of Greek and Latin, by those arch-forgers and liars, the Brahmans, and that the whole of Sanskrit literature was an imposition" (Science of Language, p. 168). The writer is quite willing and feels proud to keep company with these Brahmans, and other historical "liars," in the opinion of our modern Dugald Stewarts. She has lived too long, and her experience has been too varied and personal, for her not to know at least something of human nature. "When you doubt, abstain," says the wise Zoroaster, whose prudent aphorism is found corroborated in every case by daily life and experience. Yet, like St. John the Baptist, this sage of the past Ages is found preaching in the desert, in company with a more modern philosopher, namely Bacon, who offers the same priceless bit of practical Wisdom. "In contemplation," he says (in any question of Knowledge, we add), "if a man begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."

With this piece of advice from the father of English Philosophy to the representatives of British scepticism we ought to close the debate, but our theosophical readers are entitled to a final piece of Occult information.

Enough was said to show that evolution in general, events, mankind, and everything else in Nature proceed in cycles. We have spoken of seven Races, five of which have nearly completed their earthly career, and have claimed that every Root-Race, with its sub-races and innumerable family divisions and tribes, was entirely distinct from its preceding and succeeding race. This will be objected to, on the authority of uniform experience in the question of Anthropology, and Ethnology. Man was — save in colour and type, and perhaps a difference in facial peculiarities and cranial capacity — ever the same under every climate and in every part of the world, say the Naturalists: ay, even in stature. This, while maintaining that man descends from the same unknown ancestor as the ape, a claim that is logically impossible without an infinite variation of stature and form, from his first evolution into a biped. The very logical persons who maintain both propositions are welcome to their paradoxical views. Once more we address only those who, doubting the general derivation of myths from "the contemplation of the visible workings of external nature" . . . . think it, "less hard to believe that these wonderful stories of gods and demi-gods, of giants and dwarfs, of dragons and monsters of all descriptions, are transformations, than to believe them to be inventions." It is only such "transformations" in physical nature, as much as in the memory and conceptions of our present mankind, that the Secret Doctrine teaches. It confronts the purely speculative hypotheses of modern Science, based upon the experience and exact observations of barely a few centuries, with the unbroken tradition and records of its Sanctuaries; and brushing away that tissue of cobweb-like theories, spun in the darkness that covers a period of hardly a few millenniums back, and which Europeans call their "History," the Old Science says to us: Listen, now, to my version of the memoirs of Humanity.

The human Races are born one from the other, grow, develop, become old, and die. Their sub-races and nations follow the same rule. If your all-denying modern science and so-called philosophy do not contest that the human family is composed of a variety of well-defined types and races, it is only because the fact is undeniable, no one would say that there was no external difference between an Englishman, an African negro, and a Japanese or Chinaman. On the other hand it is formally denied by most naturalists that mixed human races, i.e., the seeds for entirely new races, are any longer formed in our days. But this last is maintained on good grounds by de Quatrefages and some others.

Nevertheless our general proposition will not be accepted. It will be said that whatever forms man has passed through in the long pre-historic Past there are no more changes for him (save certain variations, as at present) in the future. Hence that our Sixth and Seventh Root Races are fictions.

To this it is again answered: How do you know? Your experience is limited to a few thousand years, to less than a day in the whole age of Humanity and to the present types of the actual continents and isles of our Fifth Race. How can you tell what will or will not be? Meanwhile, such is the prophecy of the Secret Books and their no uncertain statements.

Since the beginning of the Atlantean Race many million years have passed, yet we find the last of the Atlanteans, still mixed up with the Aryan element, 11,000 years ago. This shows the enormous overlapping of one race over the race which succeeds it, though in character and external type the elder loses its characteristics, and assumes the new features of the younger race. This is proved in all the formations of mixed human races. Now, Occult philosophy teaches that even now, under our very eyes, the new Race and Races are preparing to be formed, and that it is in America that the transformation will take place, and has already silently commenced.

Pure Anglo-Saxons hardly three hundred years ago, the Americans of the United States have already become a nation apart, and, owing to a strong admixture of various nationalities and inter-marriage, almost a race sui generis, not only mentally, but also physically. "Every mixed race, when uniform and settled, has been able to play the part of a primary race in fresh crossings," says de Quatrefages. "Mankind, in its present state, has thus been formed, certainly, for the greatest part, by the successive crossing of a number of races at present undetermined" ("The Human Species," p. 274.)

Thus the Americans have become in only three centuries a "primary race," pro tem., before becoming a race apart, and strongly separated from all other now existing races. They are, in short, the germs of the Sixth sub-race, and in some few hundred years more, will become most decidedly the pioneers of that race which must succeed to the present European or fifth sub-race, in all its new characteristics. After this, in about 25,000 years, they will launch into preparations for the seventh sub-race; until, in consequence of cataclysms — the first series of those which must one day destroy Europe, and still later the whole Aryan race (and thus affect both Americas), as also most of the lands directly connected with the confines of our continent and isles — the Sixth Root-Race will have appeared on the stage of our Round. When shall this be? Who knows save the great Masters of Wisdom, perchance, and they are as silent upon the subject as the snow-capped peaks that tower above them. All we know is, that it will silently come into existence; so silently, indeed, that for long millenniums shall its pioneers — the peculiar children who will grow into peculiar men and women — be regarded as anomalous lusus naturae, abnormal oddities physically and mentally. Then, as they increase, and their numbers become with every age greater, one day they will awake to find themselves in a majority. It is the present men who will then begin to be regarded as exceptional mongrels, until these die out in their turn in civilised lands; surviving only in small groups on islands — the mountain peaks of to-day — where they will vegetate, degenerate, and finally die out, perhaps millions of years hence, as the Aztecs have, as the Nyam-Nyam and the dwarfish Moola Koorumba of the Nilghiri Hills are dying. All these are the remnants of once mighty races, the recollection of whose existence has entirely died out of the remembrance of the modern generations, just as we shall vanish from the memory of the Sixth Race Humanity. The Fifth will overlap the Sixth Race for many hundreds of millenniums, changing with it slower than its new successor, still changing in stature, general physique, and mentality, just as the Fourth overlapped our Aryan race, and the Third had overlapped the Atlanteans.

This process of preparation for the Sixth great Race must last throughout the whole sixth and seventh sub-races (vide supra, the diagram of the Genealogical Tree of the Fifth Race). But the last remnants of the Fifth Continent will not disappear until some time after the birth of the new Race; when another and new dwelling, the sixth continent, will have appeared above the new waters on the face of the globe, so as to receive the new stranger. To it also will emigrate and settle all those who shall be fortunate enough to escape the general disaster. When this shall be — as just said — it is not for the writer to know. Only, as nature no more proceeds by sudden jumps and starts, than man changes suddenly from a child into a mature man, the final cataclysm will be preceded by many smaller submersions and destructions both by wave and volcanic fires. The exultant pulse will beat high in the heart of the race now in the American zone, but there will be no more Americans when the Sixth Race commences; no more, in fact, than Europeans; for they will have now become a new race, and many new nations. Yet the Fifth will not die, but survive for a while: overlapping the new Race for many hundred thousands of years to come, it will become transformed with it — slower than its new successor — still getting entirely altered in mentality, general physique, and stature. Mankind will not grow again into giant bodies as in the case of the Lemurians and the Atlanteans; because while the evolution of the Fourth race led the latter down to the very bottom of materiality in its physical development, the present Race is on its ascending arc; and the Sixth will be rapidly growing out of its bonds of matter, and even of flesh.

Thus it is the mankind of the New world — one by far the senior of our Old one, a fact men had also forgotten — of Patala (the Antipodes, or the Nether World, as America is called in India), whose mission and Karma it is, to sow the seeds for a forthcoming, grander, and far more glorious Race than any of those we know of at present. The Cycles of Matter will be succeeded by Cycles of Spirituality and a fully developed mind. On the law of parallel history and races, the majority of the future mankind will be composed of glorious Adepts. Humanity is the child of cyclic Destiny, and not one of its Units can escape its unconscious mission, or get rid of the burden of its co-operative work with nature. Thus will mankind, race after race, perform its appointed cycle-pilgrimage. Climates will, and have already begun, to change, each tropical year after the other dropping one sub-race, but only to beget another higher race on the ascending cycle; while a series of other less favoured groups — the failures of nature — will, like some individual men, vanish from the human family without even leaving a trace behind.

Such is the course of Nature under the sway of Karmic Law: of the ever present and the ever-becoming Nature. For, in the words of a Sage, known only to a few Occultists:— "The Present is the Child of the Past; the Future, the begotten of the Present. And yet, O present moment! Knowest thou not that thou hast no parent, nor canst thou have a child; that thou art ever begetting but thyself? Before thou hast even begun to say 'I am the progeny of the departed moment, the child of the past,' thou hast become that past itself. Before thou utterest the last syllable, behold! Thou art no more the Present but verily that Future. Thus, are the Past, the Present, and the Future, the ever-living trinity in one — the Mahamaya of the Absolute IS."

Link to illustration: Portion of Secret Doctrine manuscript page II: 577-8. (TS Archives, Pasadena)

And now to conclude.


We have concerned ourself with the ancient records of the nations, with the doctrine of chronological and psychic cycles, of which these records are the tangible proof; and with many other subjects, which may, at first sight, seem out of place in this volume.

But they were necessary in truth. In dealing with the secret annals and traditions of so many nations, whose very origins have never been ascertained on more secure grounds than inferential suppositions, in giving out the beliefs and philosophy of more than prehistoric races, it is not quite as easy to deal with the subject matter as it would be if only the philosophy of one special race, and its evolution, were concerned. The Secret Doctrine is the common property of the countless millions of men born under various climates, in times with which History refuses to deal, and to which esoteric teachings assign dates incompatible with the theories of Geology and Anthropology. The birth and evolution of the Sacred Science of the Past are lost in the very night of Time; and that, even, which is historic — i.e., that which is found scattered hither and thither throughout ancient classical literature — is, in almost every case, attributed by modern criticism to lack of observation in the ancient writers, or to superstition born out of the ignorance of antiquity. It is, therefore, impossible to treat this subject as one would the ordinary evolution of an art or science in some well-known historical nation. It is only by bringing before the reader an abundance of proofs all tending to show that in every age, under every condition of civilization and knowledge, the educated classes of every nation made themselves the more or less faithful echoes of one identical system and its fundamental traditions — that he can be made to see that so many streams of the same water must have had a common source from which they started. What was this source? If coming events are said to cast their shadows before, past events cannot fall to leave their impress behind them. It is, then, by those shadows of the hoary Past and their fantastic silhouettes on the external screen of every religion and philosophy, that we can, by checking them as we go along, and comparing them, trace out finally the body that produced them. There must be truth and fact in that which every people of antiquity accepted and made the foundation of its religions and its faith. Moreover, as Haliburton said, "Hear one side, and you will be in the dark; hear both sides, and all will be clear." The public has hitherto had access to, and heard but one side — or rather the two one-sided views of two diametrically opposed classes of men, whose prima facie propositions or respective premises differ widely, but whose final conclusions are the same — Science and Theology. And now our readers have an opportunity to hear the other — the defendants' — justification on and learn the nature of our arguments.

Were the public to be left to its old opinions: namely, on one side, that Occultism, Magic, the legends of old, etc., were all the outcome of ignorance and superstition; and on the other, that everything outside the orthodox groove was the work of the devil, what would be the result? In other words, had no theosophical and mystic literature obtained a hearing for the few last years, the present work would have had a poor chance of impartial consideration. It would have been proclaimed — and by many will still be so proclaimed — a fairy tale woven out of abstruse problems, poised in, and based on the air; built of soap bubbles, bursting at the slightest touch of serious reflection, with no foundation, as it would be alleged, to stand upon. Even "the ancient superstitious and credulous classics" have no word of reference to it in clear and unmistakable terms, and the symbols themselves fail to yield a hint at the existence of such a system. Such would be the verdict of all. But when it becomes undeniably proven that the claim of the modern Asiatic nations to a Secret Science and an esoteric history of the world, is based on fact; that, though hitherto unknown to the masses and a veiled mystery even to the learned, (because they never had the key to a right understanding of the abundant hints thrown out by the ancient classics), it is still no fairy tale, but an actuality — then the present work will become but the pioneer of many more such books. The statement that hitherto even the keys discovered by some great scholars have proved too rusty for use, and that they were but the silent witnesses that there do exist mysteries behind the veil which are unreachable without a new key — is borne out by too many proofs to be easily dismissed. An instance may be given as an illustration out of the history of Freemasonry.

In his "Franc-maconnerie Occulte," rightly or wrongly, Ragon, an illustrious and learned Belgian Mason, reproaches the English Masons with having materialized and dishonoured Masonry, once based upon the Ancient Mysteries, by adopting, owing to a mistaken notion of the origin of the craft, the name of Free Masonry and Free Masons. The mistake is due, he says, to those who connect Masonry with the building of Solomon's Temple, deriving its origin from it. He derides the idea, and says: . . "The Franc Mason (which is not macon libre, or free masonry) knew well when adopting the title, that it was no question of building a wall, but that of being initiated into the ancient Mysteries veiled under the name of Francmaconnerie (Freemasonry); that his work was only to be the continuation or the renovation of the ancient mysteries, and that he was to become a mason after the manner of Apollo or Amphion. And do not we know that the ancient initiated poets, when speaking of the foundation of a city, meant thereby the establishment of a doctrine? Thus Neptune, the god of reasoning, and Apollo, the god of the hidden things, presented themselves as masons before Laomedon, Priam's father, to help him to build the city of Troy — that is to say, to establish the Trojan religion." (Maconnerie Orthodoxe, p. 44.)

Such veiled sentences with double meaning abound in ancient classical writers. Therefore, had an attempt been made to show that, e.g., Laomedon was the founder of a branch of archaic mysteries in which the earth-bound material soul (the fourth principle), was personified in Menelaus' faithless wife (the fair Helen), if Ragon had not come to corroborate what we asserted, we might be told that no classical author speaks of it, and that Homer shows Laomedon building a city, not an esoteric worship or MYSTERIES! And who are those left now, save a few Initiates, who understand the language and correct meaning of such symbolical terms?

But after having pointed to many a misconceived symbol bearing on our thesis, there still remains more than one difficulty to be overcome. Most important among several such obstacles is that of chronology. But this could hardly be helped.

Wedged in between theological chronology and that of the geologists, backed by all the materialistic Anthropologists who assign dates to man and nature which fit in with their own theories alone — what could the writer do except what is being done? Namely, since theology places the Deluge 2448 B.C., and the World's Creation only 5890 years ago; and since the accurate researches by the methods of exact Science, have led the geologists and physicists to assign to the incrusted age of our Globe between 10 million and 1,000 million of years (22) (a trifling difference, verily!): and the Anthropologists to vary their divergence of opinion as to the appearance of man — between 25,000 and 500,000 of years — what can one who studies the Occult doctrine do, but come out and bravely present the esoteric calculations before the world?

But to do this, corroboration by even a few "historical" proofs was necessary, though all know the real value of the so-called "historical evidence." For, whether man had appeared on earth 18,000 or 18,000,000 years ago, can make no difference to profane History, since it begins hardly a couple of thousand years before our era, and since, even then, it grapples hopelessly with the clash and din of contradictory and mutually-destroying opinions around it. Nevertheless, in view of the respect the average reader has been brought up in for exact science, even that short Past would remain meaningless, unless the esoteric teachings were corroborated and supported on the spot — whenever possible — by references to historical names of a so-called historical period. This is the only guide that can he given to the beginner before he is permitted to start among the (to him) unfamiliar windings of that dark labyrinth called the pre-historic ages. This necessity has been complied with. It is only hoped that the desire to do so, which has led the writer to be constantly bringing ancient and modern evidence as a corroboration of the Archaic and quite unhistoric Past, will not bring on her the accusation of having sorely jumbled up without order or method the various and widely-separated periods of history and tradition. But literary form and method had to be sacrificed to the greater clearness of the general exposition.

To accomplish the proposed task, the writer had to resort to the rather unusual means of dividing each volume or Book into three Parts; the first of which only is the consecutive, though very fragmentary, history of the Cosmogony and the Evolution of Man on this globe. But these two volumes had to serve as a Prologue, and prepare the reader's mind for those which shall now follow. In treating of Cosmogony and then of the Anthropogenesis of mankind, it was necessary to show that no religion, since the very earliest, has ever been entirely based on fiction, as none was the object of special revelation; and that it is dogma alone which has ever been killing primeval truth. Finally, that no human-born doctrine, no creed, however sanctified by custom and antiquity, can compare in sacredness with the religion of Nature. The Key of Wisdom that unlocks the massive gates leading to the arcana of the innermost sanctuaries can be found hidden in her bosom only: and that bosom is in the countries pointed to by the great seer of the past century Emanuel Swedenborg. There lies the heart of nature, that shrine whence issued the early races of primeval Humanity, and which is the cradle of physical man.

Thus far have proceeded the rough outlines of the beliefs and tenets of the archaic, earliest Races contained in their hitherto secret Scriptural records. But our explanations are by no means complete, nor do they pretend to give out the full text, or to have been read by the help of more than three or four keys out of the sevenfold bunch of esoteric interpretation, and even this has only been partially accomplished. The work is too gigantic for any one person to undertaken far more to accomplish. Our main concern was simply to prepare the soil. This, we trust we have done. These two volumes only constitute the work of a pioneer who has forced his way into the well-nigh impenetrable jungle of the virgin forests of the Land of the Occult. A commencement has been made to fell and uproot the deadly upas trees of superstition, prejudice, and conceited ignorance, so that these two volumes should form for the student a fitting prelude for Volumes III. and IV. Until the rubbish of the ages is cleared away from the minds of the Theosophists to whom these volumes are dedicated, it is impossible that the more practical teaching contained in the Third Volume should be understood. Consequently, it entirely depends upon the reception with which Volumes I. and II. will meet at the hands of Theosophists and Mystics, whether these last two volumes will ever be published, though they are almost completed.

Satyat Nasti paro dharmah.


End of Vol. II.

Link to illustration: Galley proof of last page of The Secret Doctrine on which HPB inserted in her own handwriting the concluding paragraph. Note minor changes in text in the final printed version. (Original in Archives, TS, Pasadena)

Table of Contents


1. See Genesis ch. ii., v. 19. Adam is formed in verse 7, and in verse 19 it is said: "Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them." Thus man was created before the animals; for the animals mentioned in chapter i. are the signs of the Zodiac, while the man, "male and female," is not man, but the Host of the Sephiroth; forces, or Angels, "made in his (God's) image and after his likeness." The Adam, man, is not made in that likeness, nor is it so asserted in the Bible. Moreover, the Second Adam is esoterically a septenary which represents seven men, or rather groups of men. For the first Adam — the Kadmon — is the synthesis of the ten Sephiroth. Of these, the upper triad remains in the Archetypal World as the future "Trinity," while the seven lower Sephiroth create the manifested material world; and this septennate is the second Adam. Genesis, and the mysteries upon which it was fabricated, came from Egypt. The "God" of the 1st chapter of Genesis is the Logos, and the "Lord God" of the 2nd chapter the Creative Elohim — the lower powers. (return to text)

2. Thus saith Pymander — "This is the mystery that to this day was hidden. Nature being mingled with the Heavenly man (Elohim, or Dhyanis), brought forth a wonder . . . . Seven men, all males and females (Hermaphrodite) . . . according to the nature of the seven Governors" — Book II. v. 29) — or the seven Hosts of the Pitris or Elohim, who projected or created him. This is very clear, but yet, see the interpretations of even our modern theologians, men supposed to be intellectual and learned! In the "Theological and philosophical works of Hermes Trismegistus, Christian (?) Neoplatonist," a work compiled by John David Chambers, of Oriel College, Oxford, the translator wonders "for whom these seven men are intended?" He solves the difficulty by concluding that, as "the original pattern man (Adam Kadmon of ch. i. Genesis) was masculine-feminine, the seven may signify the succeeding patriarchs named in Genesis (p. 9) . . ." A truly theological way of cutting the Gordian knot. (return to text)

3. As it is now asserted that the Chaldean tablets, which give the allegorical description of Creation, the Fall, and the Flood, even to the legend of the Tower of Babel, were written "before the time of Moses" (See G. Smith's "Chaldean Account of Genesis," p. 86), how can the Pentateuch be called a revelation? It is simply another version of the same story. (return to text)

4. Vide § "Adam-Adami," in Part II. of this volume. (return to text)

5. See Pliny, 4, c. 12; Strabo, 10; Herodotus, 7, c. 108; Pausanias, 7, c. 4, etc. (return to text)

6. By "original" we mean the "Amshaspend," called "Zarathustra, the lord and ruler of the Vara made by Yima in that land." There were several Zarathustra or Zertusts, the Dabistan alone enumerating thirteen; but these were all the reincarnations of the first one. The last Zoroaster was the founder of the Fire temple of Azareksh and the writer of the works on the primeval sacred Magian religion destroyed by Alexander. (return to text)

7. In India called "The Day of Brahma." (return to text)

8. See Volcker, "Mythological Geography," pp. 145 to 170. (return to text)

9. It is to be remarked, however, that Mr. Wallace does not accept Mr. Sclater's idea, and even opposes it. Mr. Sclater supposes a land or continent formerly uniting Africa, Madagascar, and India (but not Australia and India); and Mr. A. R. Wallace shows, in his "Geographical Distribution of Animals" and "Island Life," that the hypothesis of such a land is quite uncalled for on the alleged zoological grounds. But he admits that a much closer proximity of India and Australia did certainly exist, and at a time so very remote that it was "certainly pre-tertiary," and he adds in a private letter that — no name has been given to this supposed land." Yet the land did exist, and was of course pre-tertiary, for "Lemuria" (accepting this name for the third Continent) had perished before Atlantis had fully developed; and the latter sunk and its chief portions had disappeared before the end of the Miocene period. (return to text)

10. One more "coincidence" —

"Now it is proved that in geologically recent times, this region of North Africa was in fact a peninsula of Spain, and that its union with Africa (proper) was effected on the North by the rupture of Gibraltar, and on the South by an upheaval to which the Sahara owes its existence. The shores of this former sea of Sahara are still marked by the shells of the same Gastropoda that live on the shores of the Mediterranean." (Prof. Oscas Schmidt, "Doctrine of Descent and Darwinism," p. 244.) (return to text)

11. A. Winchell, Professor of Geology, "World-Life," p. 369. (return to text)

12. Mr. Charles Gould, late Geological surveyor of Tasmania, in "Mythical Monsters," p. 84. (return to text)

13. Sir Charles Lyell, who is credited with having "happily invented the terms Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene," to mark the three divisions of the Tertiary age, ought really to have settled upon some approximate age for his "Mind-offspring." Having left the duration of these periods, however, to the speculations of specialists, the greatest confusion and perplexity are the result of that happy thought. It seems like a hopeless task to quote one set of figures from one work, without the risk of finding it contradicted by the same Author in an earlier or a subsequent volume. Sir W. Thomson, one of the most eminent among the modern authorities, has changed, about half-a-dozen times, his opinion upon the age of the Sun and the date of the consolidation of the Earth's crust. In Thomson and Tait's "Natural Philosophy," one finds only ten million years allowed, since the time when the temperature of the Earth permitted vegetable life to appear on it; (App. D et seq. also Trans. Roy. Soc. Edin. xxiii, Pt. I, 157, 1862 where 847 is cancelled). Mr. Darwin gives Sir W. Thomson's estimate as "a minimum of 98 and a maximum of 200 millions of years since the consolidation of the crust" (See Ch. Gould). In the same work (Nat. Phil.) 80 millions are given from the time of incipient incrustation to the present state of the world. And in his last lecture, as shown elsewhere, Sir W. Thomson declares (1887) that the Sun is not older than 15 millions of years! Meanwhile, basing his arguments as to the limits to the age of the Sun's heat, on figures previously established by Sir W. Thomson, Mr. Croll allows 60millions of years since the beginning of the Cambrian period. This is hopeful for the lovers of exact knowledge. Thus, whatever figures are given by Occult Science, they are sure to be corroborated by those of some one among the modern men of Science who are considered as authorities. (return to text)

14. Only forty-nine Slokas out of several hundred are here given. Not every verse is translated verbatim. A periphrasis is sometimes used for the sake of clearness and intelligibility, where a literal translation would be quite unintelligible. (return to text)

15. The idea and the spirit of the sentence is here given, as a verbal translation would convey very little to the reader. (return to text)

16. The word "historical" is used, because, although historians have dwarfed almost absurdly the dates that separate certain events from our modern day, nevertheless, once that they are known and accepted, they belong to history. Thus the Trojan War is an historical event; and though even less than 1,000 years B.C. is the date assigned to it, yet in truth it is nearer 6,000 than 5,000 years B.C. (return to text)

17. It is an historical fact that Sanchoniathon compiled and wrote in Phoenician characters — from annals and State documents in the archives of the older Phoenician cities — the full record of their religion in 1250 B.C. (return to text)

18. Prof. Virchow, in Appendix I to Schliemann's Ilios. Murray, 1880. (return to text)

19. Gosse writes of the latter: "She is set down a thorough heretic, not at all to be believed, a manufacturer of unsound natural history, an inventor of false facts in science." ("Romance of Natural History," p. 227.) (return to text)

20. Dr. Cover writes: "That famous bird of Washington was a myth; either Audubon was mistaken, or else, as some do not hesitate to affirm, he lied about it." (return to text)

21. So far back as July, 1888, at a time when the MSS. of this work had not yet left my writing table, and the Secret Doctrine was utterly unknown to the world, it was already being denounced as a product of my brain and no more. These are the flattering terms in which the Evening Telegraph (of America) referred to this still unpublished work in its issue of June 30, 1888: "Among the fascinating books for July reading is Mme. Blavatsky's new book on Theosophy . . . (!) the Secret Doctrine. . . . But because she can soar back into the Brahmin ignorance . . . (! ?) . . . is no proof that everything she says is true." And once the prejudiced verdict given on the mistaken notion that my book was out, and that the reviewer had read it, neither of which was or could be the case, now that it is really out the critic will have to support his first statement, whether correct or otherwise, and thus get out of it, probably by a more slashing criticism than ever. (return to text)

22. Vide Sir W. Thomson and Mr. Huxley. (return to text)